a. d. d.
"No sooner had He said this than He was lifted up before their eyes in a cloud which took Him from their sight." —Acts 1:9
In this year of the Great Jubilee, the Lord is trying to get our attention, despite our A. D. D. (attention deficit disorder). He promises: "Within a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 1:5). Like the apostles, however, we don't pay attention. The Lord says, "Holy Spirit," and we say something unrelated like: "Lord, are You going to restore the rule to Israel now?" (Acts 1:6) Then the Lord tries again when He says: "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes down on you" (Acts 1:8). Before we can get off on a tangent, the Lord, by ascending, freezes the focus on His last words: His promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit. If this doesn't get our attention despite our attention deficit, what will?
Jesus' Ascension worked. The apostles, who couldn't keep their minds on anything but themselves, became attentive to Jesus. For nine days they prayed to be baptized in the Holy Spirit (see Acts 1:14). Today, on and by this solemn feast day of the Ascension, will we let the Lord get our attention regarding His promise of the Holy Spirit coming in a new Pentecost? Beginning tomorrow, will we pray the first of all novenas, the Pentecost novena? Fix your eyes on Jesus (Heb 12:2). Give Him your undivided attention. Pray for nine days to be baptized in the Holy Spirit of Pentecost.
Prayer: Ascended and glorified Jesus, I hang on Your every word (see Lk 19:48).
Promise: Jesus said: " 'They will use My name to expel demons, they will speak entirely new languages, they will be able to handle serpents, they will be able to drink deadly poison without harm, and the sick upon whom they lay their hands will recover.' Then, after speaking to them, the Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven and took His seat at God's right hand." —Mk 16:17-19
Praise: Praise Jesus, "manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit; seen by the angels; preached among the Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up into glory" (1 Tm 3:16).
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 16, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 1999